How to Re-calibrate Your Serenity

“Do you mind?”  I turn to face the person who has just hit me in the ankles with their shopping cart.

“Sorry, sorry.”

How about paying attention in the crowded entrance of the store?  We’re not stampeding cattle, after all.  Instead of saying this aloud I turn into an empty side aisle to get my serenity back.

Why am I here, again?  That hurt.  Oh yes, those items that I need.  Do I really need them?  Yes.  Okay then, I must continue with my mission.  Ohmigod, I’m bleeding.

That cart assault has dented my zen.  I want to get my serenity back.  How?  With a simple 3-step process.

How to get your serenity back:

1.  Slow down.

Slow down your thoughts.  Pay attention to your reactions and internal dialogue.  Now slow them down.  Good.  Now stop them altogether.

2.  Breathe.

Feeling tense?  Annoyed?  Frazzled?  Breathe.  Focus.  Still agitated?  Breathe slowly; in through your nose.  Hold.  Exhale slowly.  Now slower.  As slowly as possible.

3.  Repeat.

Find a way to distance yourself from the issue at hand, either physically or psychologically or both.  Repeat #1 and #2 as needed.

Protect your serenity, beautiful people!  Life is made up of moments.  Make the moments as beautiful as possible.  Protecting your serenity protects your beautiful life.

Upon reflection, I could see that this incident was really my own fault.  What was I thinking wearing ballet flats to a warehouse-style shopping destination?





55 thoughts on “How to Re-calibrate Your Serenity

  1. Good post. I can relate, we all have things that can trigger the proverbial “bad day” and something like a shopping cart misfire can do it if I’m already cranky. Slow down breathe and repeat is the best advice in this case, because really, will getting upset make the hurt go away or make your day go better? Probably not, and when you slow down and center yourself, that’s easier to see.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! The bad days can get passed around and they can gain momentum this way, too. You’re right that getting upset doesn’t make the hurt go away or make our days go any better. The best thing to do is slow down and center ourselves. Pass on the serenity and beauty in life. And, wear combat boots 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I have a pair of steel-toed Doc Martin work boots. Functional AND super-comfortable. More than one pub in Montreal wouldn’t let me in, wearing them. I gather they thought I was gonna do some arse kickin’… I wasn’t, not at all, but they didn’t know that. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Ha oh yeah. REAL scary (not!). Maybe it’s just that I go almost 6’2″ without shoes on, so those boots make me about 6’4″… maybe, because I shave my head and I had Docs they thought skinhead. I couldn’t be further from it, but people make assumptions I guess.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Hmm…maybe it was the skinhead profiling, especially if you happened to have red laces. Or maybe you fit the description of someone who’d been banned. This is the first I’ve heard of that kind of thing happening so either way it makes for a good story!


    1. Excellent advice, Vic! Closing your eyes really helps. Alternatively, looking down or focusing on a point in the distance also help. Even though we know this, we still have to maintain awareness. The purposeful breathing doesn’t happen naturally, even with practice. It’s a valuable life skill, though, and worth implementing.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. It absolutely is (says the guy who’s never done it). I love the mental aspect, but have no desire to hit or be hit, so the physical aspect of it, even just for training and advancing through belts, turns me off. But the philosophy and mental toughness of it? Yes indeed.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I haven’t done any either. Practitioners have told me that it really isn’t about the hitting or being hit parts. It might be worth checking out. It’s always good to explore that which intrigues us!


              1. I’ve been very tempted many times, but never actually signed up. I have a strong pacifism in me that the thought of the striking parts of the exercise are really anathema to me. I’m the world’s greatest mugging victim – want my wallet? Here ya go. Just don’t hurt my fmily or me.

                Also, to practice, I assume they’d make me remove my wedding band and the only way that’s coming off me is when I am dead.

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. In certain applications, aikido is great, indeed. Not all situations, but many.

                      I knew guys in university into the martial arts. ONe guy did karate, the other t’ai ch’i. The karate guy tried to hit the t’ai ch’i guy and, by speeding up his movements, the ta’i ch’i guy proved he couldn’t do it. Not ideal setting, situation, and they were probably inebriated, but it still happened. I dunno, the ta’i ch’i club here seems more like a cult about to all drink the kool-aid together. I’m not so into that either. So far I’ll just keep living as i do – avoiding fights and living peacefully. I’ll deal with the what-if when it happens.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. The T’ai Ch’i people here in my town are WEIRD. They have all these rules and exclusions and isn’t the leader great ‘cos they have this huge expensive main center near the city and… I totally shut off. It’s the same thing as anything else. Someone is always better than you. Blah blah blah. Get real. I am not joining your cult. I have enough on my plate over here trying to be a good person on a daily basis, thanks very much. I can get a T’ai Ch’i DVD out of the library and practice by myself, thank you very much!

                      I have always avoided fights. At any cost, I’ve always walked away. I’ve been called a coward, and that’s fine by me because i am still here and I don’t care about that.

                      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have two whole shelves of such books here (zen, buddhism, tao, martial arts, meditation, you name it) and I’ve read them all. Youd think it would sink in by now, eh? Ha. Being in each moment is the hardest thing ever. I think that’s why most people think ahead to tomorrow or dwell on the past – that’s so much easier!

        Liked by 1 person

              1. I believe it never does. It’s like the red herring of trying to achieve enlightenment through meditation. I don’t believe it exists, and anyone telling you they are enlightened is selling you something. It’s all in each moment. If you can survive each, you have survived it. If you slip, you make the next one better. It’s a fool’s errand to believe that you can reach some level like it’s a video game and then you don’t have to try anymore.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I like your insights. You’re obviously well-versed on these matters. Do you ever blog on these topics?

                  Speaking of your blog…my reference to the 15th year of practice was a nod to your rapidly approaching invitation to post our Top 15 Albums of All Time on September 15th. Do you have an invitation and a link to post here? Everyone reading can check it out and join in the fun! I re-visited my list today but didn’t let myself make any changes :).


                  1. Thanks for that, Danica, but anything that comes across as well-versed is merely the result of reading books on like subjects for well over 20 years. It doesn’t make me an expert – and I don’t think such a thing exists. Again, anyone claiming they’re an expert is selling something. It’s like the hierarchy of Zen. There’s always a monk above you, with better robes, more ‘enlightened’ than you. A lot of people respond well to that sort of challenge, and that’s why it’s worked so well for so long. Me, I call BS. If I can live each moment (not each day or week, each MOMENT) to my best ability, I’ve already outstripped those self-important a-holes in robes trying to keep a good person down. Guess I’m not a joiner!

                    No, I don’t geerally blog on these subjects. It’s just something I read and try to apply in my life. It ain’t easy – and it’ll never get easier. That’s the thing people miss. It’s like Christianity. All deference of course, but they all wanna get to heaven. Well, guess waht, when/if you do, you’re DEAD! Not gonna be much good for you then, is it? I dunno, I could just be ranting.

                    I totally missed your nod to the To 15 on the 15th. I’m really excited about it. As for a link, any post of mine that mentions it will be fine, although on that day I’m going to try to link to as many peoples’ lists as I can on that day, so whenever that post goes live would be the best link possible. Anything prior would just be a reminder to get on it and be ready!

                    I commend you for not making any changes. Every time I revisit my list the headaches start all over again. I think I have a fairly solid list, but it’s still very much subject to change until the instant it goes live on Tuesday.

                    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! Readers Of The Excellent Living A Beautiful Life Blog!

    The blogging community at large is undertaking a wonderful challenge, and you’re all invited. It goes like this:

    List your Top 15 Albums Of All Time. They need to be YOUR favourites, not ones that a web site or a magazine tells you are important. After that, there are no rules. Artists can be repeated, if that’s the case, whatever. Just make sure it’s YOUR favourite 15 records of all time.

    Post them to your blog and join in the fun!

    I will be trying to link to as many blogs as I can, on that day (Tuesday), at

    I know this is now short notice. I know what a huge task it is. I hope you can manage it! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, KMA!

      KMA has invited all bloggers to post their Top 15 Albums Of All Time on September 15 (Tuesday). Join the fun and post your list to your blog! Details of the challenge are above and KMA will link to as many posts as possible.

      Short notice is better than a lot of notice for this challenge! I drafted my list and have made myself stop looking at it so I won’t make more changes. Hopefully, I’ll be able to hold out until I post it on the 15th!

      Music is an important part of Living a Beautiful Life and also helps in re-calibrating our serenity! Hoping to see all your lists on the 15th and in the fun comments and discussions that will surely follow :).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an excellent way to put it, Robin! Zen is an apt description. You’re right that we can only try our best. I was disappointed that I slipped in my serenity, but I tried and managed to re-calibrate and recover.
      Thanks very much, Robin!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you mentioned Zen in your post, Danica. 🙂 I was hearing your explanation how you had slipped from your usual frame of mind. I felt bad the cart drew blood. Serenity is hard to achieve as a state of mind, while in pain.
        I liked the steps you suggested for reaching tranquility. Breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly has helped me so much lately. I am sure wishing I had started this earlier in my life!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, my Zen was dented! I understand now and thought you were saying something a little different.
          I’m glad that you like the steps. I tried for simplicity and effectiveness. I’m with you in wishing that I’d started this earlier! The earlier we can learn this in life the better.


  3. Well yeah, breathing can do a lot to reduce tension. It’s funny how we breathe constantly, but only breathe properly during mindful exercise of it!
    Kids go through a stage of running over ankles with carts. All my kids had to learn this the hard way (via our ankles!) I’ve never had an adult do that to me. I think I’d lose my mind! Ballet flats or not!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It would be great if we were taught how to breathe properly, say in kindergarten. Nap time, macaroni art time, breathing time.
      This was an indifferent adult. I was a couple mindful breaths away from conflict mode. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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